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Art Curators Conference

May 1, 4 and 5, 2020

AAMC & AAMC Foundation’s 2020 Art Curators Conference was held virtually on May 1, 4, and 5. All sessions were held via Zoom as webinars, with audience members able to ask questions of the speakers in real time. Recordings of all sessions will be available for registrants to view shortly.


-Conference Catalog
-Attendee Listing
-Conference Schedule in Brief
-Attendee FAQ
-Full Conference Schedule
-Download Full Conference Schedule
-Conference Code of Conduct



Registration is now closed. Recordings of each Conference session have been made available to Conference registrants. If you are a Conference registrant and did not receive information about accessing the recordings, please email Lucy Lydon at

If you did not register for the Conference, you are welcome to purchase access to the recordings. To inquire about access, please email



View and download our virtual Conference catalog to learn more about our speakers, sessions, supporters, and more.





View and download our Attendee Listing to see a list of Conference attendees.






1:00 – 1:15 PM EST
Welcome Remarks

1:15 – 2:15 PM EST
Panel: Curating in a Decentered World

2:30 – 3:30 PM EST
Panel: Curating Indigeneity: Identity, Presence & Narratives

4:00 – 5:00 PM EST
Panel: Shifting Curatorial Practice Across Borders


12:00 – 1:15 PM EST
Keynote Conversation

1:30 – 2:30 PM EST
Collectors and Museums: Legal Perspectives
presented by Perkins Coie LLP

2:45 – 3:45 PM EST
Panel: Latinx Art is American Art

4:00 – 5:00 PM EST
Panel: Local Voices: Collaboration at the University of Washington



12:00 – 2:00 PM EST
Inclusive Hiring Workshop

2:30 - 3:45 PM EST
Keynote Conversation

4:00 – 5:00 PM EST
Panel: Problematizing the "Global"



Thank you to the following for their support and enthusiasm for the 2020 Art Curators Conference. 








Appraisers Association of America, Inc.
Art Dealers Association of America
Bard Graduate Center
Betty Krulik Fine Art Limited
Davidson Galleries
Dietl International
Foster/White Gallery
Gallery IMA
Getty Publications
Gill & Lagodich
Greg Kucera Gallery
Harris Harvey Gallery
Linda Hodges Gallery
Mariane Ibrahim
Masterpiece International
Pace Gallery
Patricia Rovzar Gallery
Perkins Coie LLP
Portland Art Museum
Skinner, Inc.
Sundaram Tagore Galleries
TEFAF New York
Traver Gallery




Susan Brotman
Jon & Kimberly Shirley

Mimi Gardner Gates
Carla & Don Lewis

Chiyo Ishikawa
Janet W. Ketcham
Kimerly Rorschach
Sylvia Wolf

To learn more about supporting the Art Curators Conference, please contact




If I registered for the in person Conference in Seattle, do I need to register for the virtual Conference?

No. All attendees registered for the in person Conference are automatically registered for the virtual Conference. 

How do I join the virtual Conference?

The virtual Conference will be held on Each registrant will be emailed an access link and password directly from zoom an hour before that day’s sessions begin. This link is personal to you and cannot be shared with others. We will be monitoring access and anyone attempting to use one link for multiple users will be denied access and no refund will be provided.

Do I need to create a zoom account or download zoom software to see the Conference?

You do not need to have a zoom account to join the Conference sessions. If you do not already have zoom software on your computer, you will be prompted to download the software when you click the Conference access link. The software will download automatically if you authorize the download. 

Will other attendees be able to see and hear me?

No. You will be able to see the speakers, but no one will be able to see or hear you. 

Will we be able to ask questions? 

Yes - as with our in-person Conferences, there will be a Q&A following each session. Type your question into the Q&A box at any point during the panel. Each panel moderator will field questions during the Q&A portion of the panel. 

Can I join the Conference sessions late if I miss the start time? 

Yes, you can join the sessions at any time. Recordings of all sessions will be made available to all registrants after the live sessions, so you will be able to re-watch anything you missed.

Can I log off and re-join the Conference if need be?

Yes. You can use the access link and password to re-join at any time. Note that each day of Conference sessions will have a new access link and password. 

Can my colleagues and I watch together? Do you offer group registrations?

Each person who will be watching the Conference must complete their own registration. We are not offering group registrations, as current federal, state, and CDC advisories are asking people not to gather.  We will be monitoring access and anyone attempting to use one link for multiple users will be denied access, and no refund will be provided.

Can I receive a refund if I am unable to join the virtual Conference?

All Conference registrations are non-refundable. Recordings of all sessions will be made available to all registrants.

What is the Conference schedule?

See our Brief and Full Schedules here

Who do I contact if I have trouble joining the webinar or have other technical difficulties the day of the sessions?

Please refer to zoom’s FAQ page here . If you are still having trouble, please email . We will be monitoring emails as best as we are able during the virtual Conference, but please be patient with our responses. 

Please email any further questions to



Download the full schedule here.


All Conference registrants will receive an access code to join each webinar the day prior to the session.

1:00 – 1:15 PM EST

by Marianne Lamonaca, Chief Curator / Associate Director of the Gallery, Bard Graduate Center; President, Board of Trustees (2019-2021), AAMC & AAMC Foundation

1:15 – 2:15 PM EST

Curating in a Decentered World

Due in large part to the work of decolonial scholars and activists, attention in the contemporary art world has changed focus from a shifting, dominant “center” of artistic production to a multiplicity of communities the world over. This panel brings together curators working outside of major urban centers, demonstrating what curatorial practices can look like without centering the city, or allowing any one site of cultural production to set the narrative. What can we learn about curating by examining the practices of curators working outside of traditional “centers”? Critical suburban, ex-urban and regional curatorial practices only become more urgent as gentrification prompts mass displacement, changing the very nature of cities and of the areas around them. Smaller regional galleries and museums are uniquely positioned to react to changing times and shifting audiences, and regional curators are increasingly adopting decolonial and activist practices to serve their publics.

Emily McKibbon, Associate Director/Senior Curator, MacLaren Art Centre

Elisa Coish, Independent Curator

Emelie Chhangur
, Interim Director/Curator, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto
Elisa Coish,
Independent Curator; co-organizer
Tania Willard
, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia: Okanagan/BUSH Gallery

2:30 – 3:30 PM EST

Curating Indigeneity: Identity, Presence & Narratives

This session is an open dialogue and response to curatorial practice surrounding Indigenous art with an emphasis on Indigeneity. Indigeneity is utilized to explain all things, cultural, land, knowledge, belief, and art as a way of purpose. Outside of the buzzwords (decolonizing, reframing, resisting, and reclaiming), we will discuss representation of cultural art authorities as academic writers, art museum curators, and art criticism. In 2019 there are less than 2% of Indigenous museum professionals, with a handful of art curators in national museums. It is essential to keep the dialogue open, to welcome peers to provide them support for alternative narratives. We look to encourage cross-cultural interactions handing knowledge to non-Native professionals on effective measures to identify new interpretations,

methodologies, and Indigenous knowledge through new measures of exposure to Native American field peers, and share their experiences and practicums as they utilize Indigenous protocol for
curatorial practice.

Tahnee Ahtoneharjo-Growingthunder
, Curator & Tribal Liaison of Oklahoma History Center, State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Historical Society

Mario A. Caro
, Lecturer in the Art, Culture, and Technology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
Nancy Marie Mithlo
, Professor of Gender Studies, Affiliated Faculty with the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, University of California Los Angeles
America Meredith
, (Cherokee Nation), Publishing Editor, First American Art Magazine
Debra Yepa-Pappan
, Native American Community Engagement Coordinator, Field Museum
of Natural History

4:00 – 5:00 PM EST

Shifting Curatorial Practice Across Borders

Curators and other arts professionals at American institutions grapple with the topics of inclusion and exclusion as they apply to our collections, exhibitions, and workforce. But what is "inclusion" in a transnational arts practice? How are these concerns voiced if one is already crossing borders, between countries and languages? Is inclusion inherently part of that practice? The session’s curators and arts practitioners, based in the United States and abroad, will speak about how they and their organizations address inclusion and exclusion, whether directly or indirectly. The conversation’s international scope will broaden what “inclusion” means for transnational artists with no particular “home” country; how organizers of vast exhibitions such as biennials and triennials approach this theme; and in turn, how do audiences respond to these efforts.

Leslie Ureña
, Associate Curator of Photographs, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

James Glisson
, Curator of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Bridget R. Cooks
, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and the Department of African American Studies, University of California, Irvine
Gutiérrez Castañeda, Research Professor, National School of Higher Education (ENES), Morelia Campus Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
James Glisson
, Curator of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Lesley Ma
, Curator, Ink Art, M +, Hong Kong


12:00 – 1:15 PM EST

Keynote Conversation

with Kaywin Feldman, Director, National Gallery of Art and Sasha Suda, Director and CEO, National Gallery of Canada, moderated by Judith Pineiro, Executive Director, AAMC & AAMC Foundation

1:30 – 2:30 PM EST

Collectors and Museums: Legal Perspectives
Presented by Perkins Coie LLP

Led by Lynne E. Graybeal and Colleen Ganin of Perkins Coie LLP, this discussion will focus on the legal topics relating to private collectors and museums involved in loan negotiations, acquisitions and gifts, as well as related copyright issues, including copyright ownership and indemnification. With offices located worldwide, Perkins Coie represents a wide variety of arts-related organizations in many legal capacities. This session will provide a rare opportunity to learn and discuss these key topics with leaders in their field and will provide a unique perspective of representing collectors in their interaction with museums.

Lynne E. Graybeal
, Partner, Intellectual Property Perkins Coie LLP
Colleen Ganin
, Associate, Intellectual Property, Perkins Coie LLP

2:45 – 3:45 PM EST

Latinx Art is American Art

This panel explores Latinx art as part of American art history and dispels mythologies around the (mis) understandings of Latin American and Latinx art. Nationally, curatorial positions dedicated to “Latin American Art” far outnumber those dedicated to US Latinx art. Positions for “Latin American Art” are often funded by private collectors. US Latinx art continues to be left out of collections and exhibitions of American art, misunderstood as production related to Latin American countries. This discussion explores how Latinx art should be incorporated into collections of US art and how the work of Latinx artists parallels the work of their non-Latinx peers. Born in the US or living here most of their lives, there are generations of US Latinx artists that should be incorporated into the annals of American art history and public collections. With the demographic shift that is approaching over the next two decades, this discussion is more pertinent than ever.

Rocio Aranda-Alvarado
, Program Officer, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation

Erin Dziedzic
, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Rita Gonzalez
, Head of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Marcela Guerrero
, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Maria Gaspar
, Artist


4:00 – 5:00 PM EST

Local Voices: Collaboration at the University of Washington

With this panel, AAMC is introducing a new Conference element, Local Voices. Occurring at each Conference, the series will engage host city speakers to discuss how they are addressing a pressing topic in the field. Our first Local Voices panel brings together directors and curators of the art and culture organizations at the University of Washington: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Henry Art Gallery, Jacob Lawrence Gallery and the Meany Center for the Performing Arts. Panelists will candidly share their efforts to move forward cross-campus collaborations, faculty and student engagement, and off-campus interest.

Emily Zimmerman
, Director + Curator, Jacob Lawrence Gallery

Julie K. Stein
, Executive Director, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Michelle Witt
, Executive and Artistic Director, Meany Center for the Performing Arts
Sylvia Wolf
, John S. Behnke Director, Henry Art Gallery


12:00 – 2:00 PM EST

Inclusive Hiring Workshop

In October 2018, AAMC Foundation organized a workshop on inclusive hiring practices. In an effort to widen access to this critical discussion, we are hosting this workshop again as a major content part of our 2020 Conference. Together we will acknowledge the faults and bias in our current hiring practices and workplace cultures that foster continued non-diversification of the field and disenfranchised colleagues. This workshop will consider developing and disseminating available positions, interviewing execution, welcoming of new team members and creating positive internal environments.  We hope that through this learning session discussing terminology, methodology, and best practices that participants will become actively engaged within their organizations to advance conversations to enact change in traditional established processes. The first half of the session will be a lead presentation orienting our discussion, then we will enter into a brief moderated conversation, and conclude with a hands on workshop and questions.

Joy Bailey Bryant, Vice President, Managing Director U.S. Office, Lord Cultural Resources

Cecile Shellman
, Museum DEAI Consultant
Tanya M. Odom
, Ed.M., Global Diversity and Inclusion and Education Consultant and Executive Coach
Kimberly J. Wilson
, Deputy Director for Human Resources, Volunteers, and Community Service, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

2:30 - 3:45 PM EST

Keynote Conversation

with Vishakha Desai, President Emerita Asia Society and Senior Research Scholar in Global Studies, Columbia University, and Barbara Earl Thomas, Visual Artist and Writer, moderated by Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum; Conference Benefit Committee Co-Chair

4:00 – 5:00 PM EST

Problematizing the "Global"

The term “global” is bandied around by organizations, but how does one organization—with finite staff—truly grasp the entire world holistically and equitably when it is comprised of diverse cultures and communities and when the organization is typically tied to a particular context? “Global” seems to presume a certain inclusivity, but we forget its imperialist connotations, and in recent history it has been (and oftentimes currently is) associated with the non-term “Non-West.” With the slippage between “global” and “Non-West,” it continues to delineate colonial boundaries, further otherize and fetishize cultures and regions beyond our national borders, and privileges a certain positionality in which the American or “Western” museum is situated. This session will problematize the “global”; together, we’ll question the possibilities to explore, question, even interrogate the functions of a “global” institution and seek to think critically about the issues surrounding this term.

Jessica Hong
, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College

Orianna Cacchione
, Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art
Sonal Khullar,
Associate Professor of Art History, University of Washington
Sarah E.K. Smith
, Assistant Professor in Communication & Media Studies, Carleton University



AAMC & AAMC Foundation are committed to an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, in person or in a virtual setting. Each individual has the right to be in a professional atmosphere that prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. It is the policy of AAMC & AAMC Foundation to prohibit discrimination and harassment of any person in connection with any program or activity of the organization.

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of others based on human difference.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Comments or actions that minimize a person’s lived experiences[i], identity, or safety
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of “dead”[ii] or rejected names[iii]
  • Deliberate “outing” of any person’s lived experiences or identity without their consent
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Physical contact without consent or after a request to stop
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Deliberate intimidation or stalking of any kind — in person or online
  • Collection or distribution of harassing photography or recordings
  • Threats or acts of violence
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Discrimination/Harassment is not:

  • Feeling persecuted for your social privilege
  • “Reverse”-isms, including “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Refusal to explain or debate social-justice issues when the person being asked is put in a defensive position based on their lived experience, personal identity, or safety
  • Communication in a “tone” you don’t find congenial
  • Discussion of sensitive topics
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

This Code of Conduct applies to all AAMC & AAMC Foundation events, including our online Art Curators Conference.

If you or someone else is being discriminated against or harassed, please report it as soon as possible. You can make a report by emailing or calling our office directly or by making an anonymous report here.

We can’t follow up on an anonymous report with you directly, but we will take your comments seriously. We appreciate you sharing your feedback; this will help us to ensure safety at all our events.

This Code of Conduct is in place to protect the safety of all attendees. Attendees asked to stop any harassing or discriminatory behavior are expected to comply immediately. AAMC & AAMC Foundation staff may take action to redress anything disrupting the program or making the environment unsafe for participants. Anyone engaging in any of the behaviors outlined above may be subject to expulsion with no refund from meeting and related events, or future events.

This Code of Conduct is based on the policy from American Alliance of Museums, which was based on the Geek Feminism wiki and uses language with permission from the Nonprofit Technology Conference’s Code of Conduct. Please note that AAMC & AAMC Foundation are not responsible or liable for the level of service provided by third parties listed in the resources section above.

[i] “lived experiences” means the firsthand accounts and impressions of living as a member of a minority or oppressed group.

[ii] “deadnaming” means to use someone’s old name. It specifically refers to the practice of deliberately referring to a trans person by their pre-transition name. Not only is it disrespectful, it can be considered an act of violence, especially when a person is not publicly out as trans.

[iii] “rejected name” can also include persons who have changed their names for non-transition-related reasons such as relationships, political statements, etc. Malcolm X changed his name for very specific reasons related to his identity; it is disrespectful to refer to him as anything besides Malcolm X.


The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) hosts an annual Art Curators Conference, attracting over 400 curators and guests from around the world. It is the only conference of its kind where curators from every discipline and field meet to discuss important issues facing the profession. The multi-day event includes mentorship opportunities, networking, professional development workshops, panel discussions, receptions, award announcements, receptions at host city cultural institutions, and a full membership meeting.

The Conference, open to all AAMC members and invited guests, fosters the profession's cohesiveness by addressing issues of national relevance, by assisting in professional development, and by promoting dialogue and exchange among curators.

If you would like information on attending or supporting the Annual Conference & Meeting, please contact us at

All information regarding the AAMC & AAMC Foundation Annual Conference & Meeting is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a commitment by AAMC & AAMC Foundation. AAMC & AAMC Foundation assume no responsibility for any errors that may appear in this document. In no event shall AAMC and/or AAMC Foundation be liable for incidental or consequential damages arising from use of this document or other conference related material. This document and parts thereof must not be reproduced or copied without AAMC & AAMC Foundation providing written permission, and contents thereof must not be imparted to a third party nor be used for any unauthorized purpose. Conference registration and event tickets are non-refundable.

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